Michigan dog bite laws

The state of Michigan has a state-wide dog bite law that puts strict liability on all dog’s owners. Absent provocation or unlawfully being at the place where the bite occurred, the owner of the dog is responsible the injury. Take a look at the Michigan dog bite statute:

287.351 Person bitten by dog; liability of owner.

 

(1) If a dog bites a person, without provocation while the person is on public property, or lawfully on private property, including the property of the owner of the dog, the owner of the dog shall be liable for any damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.

(2) A person is lawfully on the private property of the owner of the dog within the meaning of this act if the person is on the owner’s property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him or her by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or if the person is on the owner’s property as an invitee or licensee of the person lawfully in possession of the property unless said person has gained lawful entry upon the premises for the purpose of an unlawful or criminal act.

There are also local city and county ordinances that concern and define “dangerous dogs”. Below is a small list of some of the other dog bite laws around Michigan.

 

Adrian, Michigan dog bite law:

Sec. 6-35. Fierce and vicious dogs; dogs having, or suspected of having, rabies.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to own a fierce or vicious dog. Any dog which has bitten a person or domestic animal without molestation or which, by its actions, gives indication that it is liable to bite any person or domestic animal without molestation shall be deemed vicious.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to own a dog that has been bitten by any animal known to have been afflicted with rabies. Any person who shall have in his possession a dog which has contracted rabies, or has been subject to contracting rabies, or which is suspected of having rabies, or which has bitten or injured any person shall, upon demand of the dog officer, health officer or any police officer, produce or surrender up such dog to such officer to be held for observation as provided in this section. It shall be the duty of any person owning a dog which has been attacked or bitten by another dog or animal showing symptoms of rabies, or which has bitten or injured any person or any other dog suspected of having rabies, to immediately notify the dog officer or police department and health department of the city that such person has such a dog in his possession.

(c) Whenever a dog is reported to have bitten any person, it shall thereupon be the duty of the dog officer to cause such animal to be confined by the owner at home or in one of the veterinary hospitals in the city, or the vicinity thereof, or with the county Humane Society, for a period of not less than ten days, nor more than 15 days, for the purpose of ascertaining whether such animal is afflicted with rabies. The dog officer shall have the discretion to determine which of the places set forth in this subsection shall be used for the confinement of the dog and shall have the right to require that the dog be removed from the home of the owner and placed either in a veterinary hospital or the county Humane Society shelter. The dog officer shall have the right to either seize the dog or to require the owner to accomplish the confinement, and if the dog officer so orders, the owner shall accomplish the confinement within 12 hours in one of the places, and for the length of time required in this subsection. If such dog is afflicted with rabies, it shall be destroyed. If such dog is not afflicted with rabies, it may be returned to the owner as provided in this section. If any such animal is confined under the provisions of this section, the owner thereof shall be liable for any fees and costs which accrued because of the detention of such dog.

(d) Whenever a dog confined under this section is suspected of having rabies, it shall be the duty of the owner of such dog, if known, and if not known, it shall be the duty of the custodian of such dog or the dog officer, to arrange for necessary examinations by a veterinarian and further examinations of tissue of such dog by the state department of health if requested by the examining veterinarian of the county health office. Reports of such examinations shall be transmitted forthwith to the person bitten.

Albion, Michigan vicious dog bite law:

Vicious dog means any dog:

(1) With a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack without provocation; to cause injury; or to otherwise threaten the safety of human beings or domestic animals;

(2) Which, without provocation, has attacked or bitten a human being or domestic animal;

(3) Owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of dog fighting or trained for dog fighting; or

(4) Which, without provocation, chases or approaches a person upon the streets, sidewalks or any public or private property in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack.

(5) However, a vicious dog does not include any of the following:

a. A dog that bites or attacks a person who provokes or torments the dog, or

b. A dog that bites or attacks a person who is knowingly trespassing on the property of the dog’s owner, or

c. A dog that is responding in a manner that an ordinary and reasonable person would conclude was designed to protect a person if that person is engaged in a lawful activity or is the subject of an assault.

Alma, Michigan dog bite law:

Sec. 10-28. – Liability of dog owner; prima facie evidence of negligence.

Every owner of a dog is liable for damages for any and all injuries to any person or property that may be caused by the dog, to be determined and collected in appropriate proceedings therefor in which any failure or refusal by the owner to comply with the requirements of this article constitutes prima facie evidence of negligence.

Alpena, Michigan report dog bite law:

Sec. 10-8. – Reports of animal bites link to this piece of content

(a) No physician shall fail to report immediately to the enforcing officer the name, age, and address of any person under his care or observation who has been bitten by an animal having rabies or suspected of having rabies.

(b) If no physician is in attendance and the person bitten is a child, it shall be the duty of the person or guardian to make such report immediately. If the person bitten is an adult, such person shall, himself, make the report, or, if he is incapacitated, it shall be made by whoever is caring for him.

(c) No person having knowledge of the existence of an animal apparently afflicted with rabies shall fail to report immediately to the enforcing officer the existence of the animal, the place where seen, the owner’s name, if known, and the symptoms suggesting rabies.

Ann Arbor dangerous dog definition:

Dangerous animal. An animal which has bitten a person so as to draw blood or caused a person broken bones or which has repeatedly attacked, chased or menaced any person or damaged the property (including animals) of persons other than the owner. An animal shall not be considered dangerous solely because it has bitten or attacked a person or any animal attacking its owner or its owner’s family nor shall an animal be considered dangerous if it bites or injures a person who has, without justification, provoked it by attacking it or its young.

Big Rapids vicious dog statute:

It shall be unlawful for any person to suffer or permit a vicious, fierce or dangerous dog to go unconfined and unrestrained on such person’s premises, or to run at large.

Benton Charter Township, Michigan dangerous dog statute:

Sec. 10-1. – Dangerous animals prohibited

No animal or fowl shall be kept or maintained which is dangerous and a threat to public health, safety or welfare except as authorized by MCL 287.321 et seq., MSA 12.545(21) et seq.

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan dog bite statute:

Sec. 3-24. Vicious dogs.

No person shall own or harbor a dog that is vicious. Any dog shall be deemed vicious which has bitten a person or domestic animal without molestation, or, which by its actions gives indication that it is liable to bite any person or domestic animal without molestation.

Canton Charter Township, Michigan dog bite law:

Dangerous animal means any animal that bites or attacks a person, or any animal that bites or attacks and causes serious injury or death to another animal while the other animal is on the property or under the control of its owner. However, a dangerous animal does not include any of the following:

(1) An animal that bites or attacks a person who is knowingly trespassing on the property of the animal’s owner.

(2) An animal that bites or attacks a person who provokes or torments the animal.

(3) An animal that is responding in a manner that an ordinary and reasonable person would conclude was designed to protect a person if that person is engaged in a lawful activity or is the subject of an assault.

Dangerous or vicious dog shall mean any dog that is exposed to rabies, or any dog that is capable of inflicting death or serious injury on a person or domesticated animal and that:

(1) Has, without provocation, attacked or bitten a person engaged in lawful activities;

(2) Has left the property of its owner and, without provocation, killed or seriously injured another animal;

(3) Has, without provocation, chased, confronted or approached a person on the street, sidewalk, or public property in a menacing fashion that would put a reasonably prudent person in fear of an attack;

(4) Has exhibited a propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack, cause injury, or threaten the safety of persons or other domesticated animals without provocation; or

(5) Has acted in a manner that causes or should cause its owner to know that it is potentially vicious and/or dangerous.

No dog shall be declared “dangerous” for any of the following reasons alone:

(1) If the dog was protecting or defending a person within the immediate vicinity of the dog from attack or assault;

(2) If at the time another person was committing a crime or offense upon the property of the owner, or custodian, of the dog;

(3) If the person was teasing, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog, or in the past had teased, tormented, abused, or assaulted the dog;

(4) If the dog was attacked or menaced by another domestic animal, or the other domestic animal was on the property of the owner, or custodian, of the dog;

(5) If the dog was responding to pain or injury, or protecting itself, its kennel, or its offspring;

(6) If a person or other domestic animal was disturbing the dog’s natural functions, such as sleeping or eating;

(7) Neither growling or barking, nor both, shall alone constitute grounds upon which to find a dog “dangerous.”

Clinton Township, Michigan vicious dog bite law:

Vicious Dogs.  No person shall suffer or permit a vicious, fierce or dangerous dog to go unconfined and unrestricted on such person’s premises, or to run at large.

Dearborn, Michigan dog bite law:

Sec. 4-27. Dangerous dogs; vicious dogs; definitions.

(a) Definitions. The following terms, when used in this section, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this subsection:

Complaint means notification to the city of a potentially dangerous or vicious dog by filing a report with the police department.

Dangerous dog means:

(1) Any individual dog anywhere other than upon the property of the owner or custodian of the dog that behaves in a manner that a reasonable person would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or death to a person or a companion animal; or

(2) A dog that, without justification, bites a person and does not cause serious physical injury.

Owner means a person, firm, or corporation keeping, possessing, harboring or having the care or custody of a dog.

Vicious dog means a dog that, without justification, attacks a person or a companion animal and causes serious physical injury or death or any individual dog that has been found to be vicious under sec.

Detroit, Michigan dangerous dog bite law:

Dangerous animal determination means a written declaration or order issued by the Administrator of the Animal Control Division, or his or her designee, finding that a dog or other animal is dangerous because the dog or other animal:

(1) Has without provocation attacked, bitten, or otherwise caused injury to a person; or

(2) Has without provocation attacked, bitten, or otherwise caused injury to another domesticated animal; or

(3) Has on one (1) or more occasions, and without provocation, chased or approached any person on any public property, or on any private place that is not the property of the animal’s owner, in an apparent attempt to attack or injure the person.

Farmington Hills, Michigan dangerous dog law:

Dangerous animal means a dog or other animal that bites or attacks a person or causes a serious injury to a person or domestic animal, a dog or other animal that has been designated as a potentially dangerous animal that poses a threat to public safety as described in this article, or a dog or other animal that bites or attacks and causes serious injury or death to another dog or domestic animal while the other dog or domestic animal is on the property or under the control of its owner. However, a dangerous animal does not include any of the following:

(1) An animal that bites or attacks a person who is knowingly trespassing on the property of the animal’s owner;

(2) An animal that bites or attacks a person who provokes or torments the animal; or

(3) An animal that is responding in a manner that an ordinary and reasonable person would conclude was designed to protect a person if that person is engaged in a lawful activity or is the subject of an assault.

Ferndale, Michigan vicious dog bite statute:

Sec. 5-17. – Keeping of vicious dog

No person shall own or harbor a vicious dog. (Ord. No. 573, § V, 10-5-70)

Novi, Michigan dangerous dog bite law:

Sec. 5-17. Prospective dog bites; reporting; destruction; show cause.

(a) The owner of any dangerous and vicious dog that bites a person after the effective date of this chapter shall:

(1) Report the biting incident to the city police department within twelve (12) hours of the incident; and

(2) Destroy such dog humanely within forty-eight (48) hours of the biting incident, except if the person bitten is a trespasser on the owner’s property or the owner is granted relief from such requirement following a show cause hearing under subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Upon a sworn complaint that an owner has failed to destroy a dog within forty-eight (48) hours of a biting incident under subsection (a) of this section, a district court or district court magistrate shall issue a summons to the owner ordering him to appear to show cause why the dog should not be destroyed or permanently removed from the city. Failure to report the biting incident as required under subsection (a)(1) of this section shall constitute prima facie evidence and a legal presumption that the person bitten was not a trespasser.

Upon the filing of a sworn complaint as provided herein, the court or magistrate may order the owner to immediately turn the dog over to the county animal control officer, an incorporated humane society, a licensed veterinarian, or a boarding kennel, at the owner’s option, to be retained by them until a hearing is held and a decision is made for the disposition of the dog. The expense of the boarding and retention of the dog is to be borne by the owner. After a hearing, the magistrate or court shall issue its findings and opinion as to whether the dog is subject to destruction or removal under this section. If so, the court shall order the destruction of the dog at the expense of the owner, or, in the alternative, at the court’s discretion, order to have the animal permanently removed from the city under terms and conditions which ensure such removal. (Ord. No. 11-108.05, Pt. I, 3-7-11)

Royal Oak, Michigan dangerous dog bite law:

DANGEROUS DOG

A. Any dog that bites or attacks a person; or

B. Any dog that bites or attacks a dog or other domestic animal and causes serious injury to the other dog or domestic animal while the other dog or domestic animal is on the property or under the control of its owner.

C. A dangerous dog does not include any of the following:

(1) A dog that bites or attacks a person while being used by a law enforcement official for a legitimate law enforcement purpose;

(2) A dog that bites or attacks a person who is committing or attempting to commit a crime, including knowingly trespassing on the property of the dog’s owner;

(3) A dog that bites or attacks a person who provokes or torments the dog, or who can be shown to have repeatedly provoked or tormented the dog in the past;

(4) A dog that is responding in a manner that an ordinary and reasonable person would conclude was designed to protect a person if that person is engaged in a lawful activity or is the subject of an assault; or

(5) A dog that is responding to pain or injury, or was protecting itself or its offspring.

Our motto is simple, winning is the only option. If you’ve been bitten, there are laws in place to protect you. Call today for a free consultation.